(Baton Rouge, La., Aug. 29, 2012 -- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal leads the Louisiana Unified Coordination meeting in response to Hurricane Isaac. To his right is FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, who was on the ground in Louisiana to meet with state and local officials as Isaac moved through the area.)
As we continue to monitor the effects of Hurricane Isaac, we remain in close contact with state emergency management partners in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana as we continue to work with federal, state, local and tribal officials in providing assistance in response to the storm. As Hurricane Isaac continues to bring strong winds and heavy rain through the Gulf Coast, we wanted to share some safety tips for those who may be in an area experiencing severe weather.
Isaac is bringing significant amounts of rainfall, so flood safety is key. We urge residents in coastal and inland areas to monitor local TV, radio or your NOAA weather radio and be alert to the possibility of the risk of flooding and flash flooding. As always, listen to the instructions of local officials. If they give the order to evacuate, do so immediately (and remember to take your pets with you). Here are a few additional flood safety tips:
- Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. Almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low lying areas, at bridges, and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Remember – turn around, don’t drown.
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Flood safety terms
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if local officials give notice to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Watch: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Flash Flood Warning: Rapid rises on streams and rivers are occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
Power outages are being reported in the impacted area, so here are some tips to keep in mind before and during a power outage:
- Ensure you have a battery-powered or hand cranked radio to listen for emergency updates and news reports.
- Have flashlights or electric lanterns on hand to provide light; candles may add a spark of adventure during power failures, but they are dangerous fire hazards. Flashlights and electric lanterns require batteries so consider, during extended outages, keeping a supply of extra batteries.
- Remember, microwaves will not work! It’s important to keep a three- to 14-day supply of water and of nonperishable food such as ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, milk, and soup. Additionally, have a hand-operated can opener available. FEMA recommends one gallon of water per person per day.
- If using a portable generator during a power outage, it should always be operated outside, away from doors and windows to avoid dangerous carbon monoxide.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.
- During the winter, let the sun warm rooms during the day and close shades and curtains at night.
- Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home's electrical system - they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
- When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes before turning on major appliances, to help eliminate problems that could occur if there's a sharp increase in demand. If you think electric power has been restored to your area but your home is still without power, call your local power company.
Remember, this storm will likely impact inland areas, so even if you don’t live in a coastal area the possibility of experiencing flooding, tornadoes, power outages and high winds from Hurricane Isaac still exists. We encourage all residents in the states of Isaac’s projected path to visit www.Ready.gov for more safety tips and to stay safe as the storm moves through.